*(Via Huffington Post) – Residents in Ferguson, Missouri, cast their votes on Tuesday in a closely watched election seen as a critical step toward ending racially discriminatory practices that thrust the St. Louis suburb into the national spotlight last year.
Eight candidates, including four African-Americans, are vying for three seats on the six-member City Council in Ferguson, where two-thirds of residents are black but the city’s leadership has been long dominated by whites.
Ferguson has about 21,000 residents. But it has had only two black council members since its incorporation in 1894, including Councilman Dwayne James, who is not up for re-election.
A heavy thunderstorm rolled through the area on Tuesday morning, which some feared could discourage turnout, but the rain ended by afternoon and hopes for turnout climbed.
State Representative Courtney Curtis, a Ferguson resident who voted on Tuesday, said the election was pivotal.
“It could mean one of two things – one that the mission was accomplished after seven months of protests and all we’ve been through,” Curtis said. “Or it could also go the other way, and we’ll find that people didn’t care enough to make a change.”
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